Ian Dempsey's Doolin: 'There would be a fair bit of carousing'
Short breaks in Ireland
We've been going down to Doolin since 1985. We were in the Canaries and met a couple on their honeymoon, and we actually kept in touch and became great friends.
They live between Dublin and Doolin, so we go down with them quite a bit. They're Clare and Eugene Garrihy - their daughters [Aoibhin, Doireann and Ailbhe] are making their mark now.
My wife Ger and I often stay with Clare and Eugene, but we also stay in Hotel Doolin. We're treated like locals at this stage.
There would be a fair bit of carousing. McDermott's is my favourite of the pubs, and it's where I'd go first. There is a corner with a sign saying 'Dempsey's Den'.
I've told Patsy, who runs the pub, that she can take it down, but she says, 'No, that's there forever'. You always meet interesting people from all walks of life; there's great music and it's great fun.
On Saturday, you might wake up a bit tired, but then you head to Doolin Pier to get the oxygen in, and feel alive again.
We'd eat out at Monk's in Ballyvaughan, or the restaurant in the hotel is very good. Then we cook at Clare and Eugene's, too. There was a roast goose one weekend, and their family supply fish to restaurants, so there'd often be live lobsters knocking around.
Myself and Ger would both be fairly excited when we know we're going to Doolin for the weekend. We're nearly like kids. It's different every time, and, at the same time, it's really familiar.
It's a real break.
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